Delighted to see my Somerset Ferns clutch nestled in the Emporium section of December's UK Country Living magazine!
Last weekend whilst visiting my parents, I grabbed a bit of winter sunshine and fresh air and gathered evergreen goodies for a Christmas wreath for their door. Fun to make but I should have worn gloves, ouch ouch ouch!
A lovely fir tree in the neighbours garden
Gathering mistletoe, a tree and a shadow
Now this tree has lost its leaves you can see the vast amounts of mistletoe growing in the canopies. Beautiful!
I've never seen so many berries on mistletoe, the birds have usually eaten them all
Wintery weather seems to have gripped every part of the UK apart from the Bristol/south west region. I absolutely love snow so I can't help but feel I'm missing out on the action. However, there was a little flurry of the white stuff earlier in the week and I took a few pics on a (bracing) walk down in Somerset.
It is absolutely freezing though, just as well I bought this fake fur hat, my best impulse buy of the year!
Red Ruby Rose on pinterest
Pinterest is a new social bookmarking site inspired by the bulletin board. It caught my eye last week and I requested an invite to join as it's still in beta mode. I really like the clean simple design of the site and it appeals to my magpie tendencies to make mood boards and collections. Finally I have somewhere to place all the stuff I've loaded into my bookmarks and desktop and there are some sharp curators on there. The clincher for me is that every 'pin' has a permalinked source back to the original, unlike collage sites like Polyvore that grab bits and pieces from everywhere with no regard to the source.
Ruby Mandala clutch by Red Ruby Rose
If you'd like the chance to win the clutch pictured above, head on over to Natalie Jost's fabulous blog and shop at Olive Manna. In exchange for Natalie's generous suggestions on how to rejig and customise Big Cartel, which helped me out on my own shop, she received a gift clutch from me, plus another to giveaway.
Also, Indiefixx and Joie magazine are currently giving away one of of my new Morphos butterflies silk scarves.
Joie is a new online lifestyle mag created by Jen of indiefixx. Lots of great articles on art, craft, living, design, style, diy and more. Free to download with a suggested donation.
Good luck with the giveaways!
Cycling on the Strawberry Line, with lovely sculptural pods and plants in the hedgerows. A perfect sunny Autumn day.
Just off the Strawberry line, a gorgeous 13th Century church at Puxton, with a heavily leaning tower. Beautifully kept churchyard but sadly the building was locked so no nosing around for us.
Amazing autumn colours and some much needed fresh air and woodland at Westonbirt arboretum
A Griffin garden ornament at a reclamation yard in Tetbury. Had the most amazing ham, egg and chips for lunch in eccentric little cafe in the town centre. Yum!
Down to Somerset on the train to see my parents, took this picture just as we crossed a bridge, captured in a blur
Catching up with friends and bandmates Holly and Al, celebrating Al's birthday. Amazing food at Sergios and too much wine.
Morphos butterflies silk scarf
Vida birds silk scarfTree silhouette silk scarf
My new collection of silk scarves are now on Etsy. This first batch are printed onto heavyweight silk twill which has a lovely weave and shimmer. There will be a few to follow in crepe de chine and silk satin, I'm still undecided as to which finish I like best, so for starters I'm trying all three. There are ten designs in total and I will also be offering a sample sale of several of the designs on redrubyrose.
One thing I've discovered is that silk scarves are very tricky to photograph! I wanted to keep the photography as simple and clear as possible but the fluidity of the fabric makes them a challenge compared to the clutches. It's a learning curve.
Do you have a favourite?
One of my favourite cycle rides in Bristol is the pill path which is traffic free and runs alongside the river Avon and Leigh woods. When I first started cycling again earlier this year I was woefully unfit and would wobble along for a couple of miles and come home in a heap. Slowly my fitness has improved, I'm still pretty crumby but at least now I can cycle to Pill and back without collapsing. One of the best things about this route is the lake at the end of the river path, perfect for a rest and also for gawking at the large flock of comedic chickens that reside in a big plot next to the water.
Yesterday was the first time I saw the swan. Looking very serene in the photo but she came across to hiss and honk at us.
In contrast to the lake, I quite fancied going on the cycle lane over the big motorway bridge at Avonmouth. The whole concept of a cycle lane on a huge bridge next to a roaring motorway seemed odd. It was a cloudy murky day yesterday and the whole thing was surreal.
I've been meaning to list these postcard sets for ages, it was on one of my 'to do' lists and then I completely forgot all about them until I was searching for a particular purse frame earlier today. They are now on sale on Etsy and my own website (woo-hoo, I'm enjoying saying that!) in dollars and UK pounds respectively.
These images were created using a variety of traditional photographic processes including photograms, polaroid, and pinhole photography. If any of the designs look familiar it's because some of them have featured on my textile designs for the clutch bags over the last couple of years. There are eight designs and these A6 cards are printed on heavyweight 400gsm silk card, blank on reverse with small title/logo.
So... to the giveaway. I'm giving away two sets of cards and all you need to do is either add a comment to this post or 'like' my facebook page. The two winners will be drawn at random on the 15th October. Good luck!
May I introduce my new Red Ruby Rose website. Well hello my pretty.
This has been in the pipeline for quite a while. Starting off as an idea on the back of an envelope, then a rough design mock up, and then lots of procrastinating and chin-stroking.
I'll admit I did have reservations about starting my own shop. I currently have an online presence on three shopping sites. The main being Etsy, listing in US dollars, then Not On The High Street in UK pounds, and also Dawanda in euros. With all with ever shifting currencies, varying commissions, and different visitors, where would my own site nestle between all these and could I really juggle yet another online shop, especially one that would need extra work to generate new footfall?
I came to the conclusion that it would be lovely to have my own shop listing in UK pounds, but that it would have to be very simple, both for the visitor (no need to register, easy checkout) and for me from a listing and maintenance angle. After looking round, asking the advice of knowledgeable friends and scouring the web to see what other independent designers and makers were doing, it seemed that Big Cartel was the solution; a simple, customisable shopping cart with a small monthly fee and no commission.
It is, hands down the simplest and fastest interface for listing items. Photos upload swiftly and the whole listing process is done on one page. Quite refreshing!
Customising Big Cartel from the standard template turned out to be slightly more complicated. Long story short, Tom Neal of imaketees took my rough template idea and ran with it. All kudos to him, I highly recommend his work.
So, here it is, redrubyrose.bigcartel.com aka redrubyrose.com. I'll slowly build up the shop inventory and they'll run alongside my Etsy listings but there will also be offers and items exclusive to my own shop in the run up to Christmas. Please do take a peek if you have a moment, I'd love to know what you think.
I love the little apple tree in our garden, it's ancient and wonky with mistletoe growing in the boughs. It was stormy last night so today I picked the best of the windfalls and the biggest ripest fruit on the top of the tree. This wasn't quite as easy as I first anticipated and I had a blonde moment when I decided to stand on a kitchen chair, only for the chair leg to sink into the soft ground and for me to wobble off. So, I grabbed the stepladder and stirred Robbie from his post sunday lunch doze to hold the ladder whilst I balanced atop with apples raining down on his head.
There are only so many apples we can eat. I've kept a few aside to store and popped round with a basket to friends and neighbours. It'll be endless apple pie for the forseeable future.
As for the pears... they're bullet hard still. Maybe I could try poaching them, or is it still too early to harvest them?
taken on my iphone using the plastic bullet app
taken on my iphone using the plastic bullet app
taken on my iphone using the hipstamatic app
taken on my iphone using the plastic bullet app
I read a great article on the Photoworks San Francisco blog recently. The author discusses the increasing use of iphone apps including Hipstamatic which filters an average camera phone photo turn into a pastiche of a holga, diana, any number of hip camera film effects. I totally empathise with his feelings and comments as I too feel conflicted about the medium.
Partly, hands up, I know I'm being a snob. I've worked extensively with camera film, and effects including light leaks/flare/polaroid borders/pinhole and toy camera over the last ten years. It informed a large part of my illustration style and it wasn't always the easiest process to work with. To suddenly see the effects available at the touch of a button is partly amazing and partly infuriating.
Some of the comments in the follow up to the article are eloquent; "photography is about the journey not just the end result. If they come out with cool pictures and learned nothing on the journey then they have gained much less." and in a similar vein: "I guess it comes down to that old chestnut, is art created without intention as valid as art created with intention."
But, maybe more importantly, the conflicting argument that film shouldn't be revered just because it's film: "I feel that a far worse trend, is glorifying toy camera photo’s just for the sake that they are shot on film. Just because you leave your negative frame on your photo, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good."
Recently I bought an iphone and started using hipstamatic. To be honest, it didn't do a huge amount for me to begin with, but then I found plastic bullet and I love this app. The interface is much simpler and it has a lovely element of surprise in that you have the choice of four different processed images, and if you don't like any of those it develops a fresh set for you.
I think it's time I got over myself and embraced the medium. What are your thoughts?
My new Red Ruby Rose gift boxes arrived today, yippee! Clutches will now arrive individually in one of these beauties, although I have had to tweak the postage up a little for international buyers as they're 100 grams heavier than my previous packaging.
They are bespoke printed with the Red Ruby Rose logo on the lid in foil inlay, and the heavyweight board is lined with a cream buckram paper which has a lovely textured finish.
I honestly didn't think I'd get quite so excited about a simple box, which suggests I need to get out more.